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Proceedings Paper

Autonomous maritime navigation: developing autonomy skill sets for USVs
Author(s): Eric Hansen; Terry Huntsberger; Les Elkins
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Paper Abstract

Many emerging UV (Unmanned Vehicle) cooperative control systems utilizing mission decomposition and generic UV management techniques are UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) oriented and transition well from model simulations to hardware due to the relative homogeneity of the air environment. Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV's) and other ground borne vehicles, to function robustly, must have an additional onboard capacity to negotiate local environmental and indigenous operational factors in order to be commanded by a network, and this capacity is most easily delineated into Skill Sets. The Autonomous Maritime Navigation Program (AMN) is developing USV systems which target full intelligent autonomous operations and autonomy Skill Sets to allow USV's to perform unsupervised complex missions over extended time periods at the platform level with minimum human supervision. Importantly, this allows control systems developed for cooperating UV's to effectively control USV's by enabling local platform issues decision making at the platform level. Using a 40 foot laboratory boat, advanced on-board control, sensing, data fusion, physical plant and payload monitoring and management are being adapted and integrated as a system to replace traditional human crew functions. This paper discusses a path to achieve the goal of full USV autonomy equipped with skills to self manage, survive and navigate, and progress being made with enabling technology pieces. Initiatives and partnerships have been formed with academia, industry, and other DoD laboratories to these ends in both independent and collaborative RDT&E projects. Discussion includes ongoing work in sensing, data fusion, dynamic mission planning, execution and boat operations, and integration to JAUS/TCS control protocols.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 May 2006
PDF: 20 pages
Proc. SPIE 6230, Unmanned Systems Technology VIII, 62300U (9 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.666936
Show Author Affiliations
Eric Hansen, Naval Surface Warfare Ctr. (United States)
Terry Huntsberger, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Les Elkins, Spatial Integrated Systems, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6230:
Unmanned Systems Technology VIII
Grant R. Gerhart; Charles M. Shoemaker; Douglas W. Gage, Editor(s)

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